The African People’s Education and Defense Fund, (APEDF.org), in Philadelphia, the hub of the African People’s Socialist Party, (APSP), Northern Region, is sponsoring the 5th Annual Uhuru Book Fair Saturday, September 21 in West Philadelphia’s beautiful Clark Park at 43rd and Chester Avenue from 9am-5pm (Rain date Sunday, Sept. 22nd).
This lively community education and economic development festival includes 100+ vendors with handmade African art, clothing and jewelry, natural beauty products, food, and also books, bicycles, and deeply discounted used items of all types.
The all-day program features keynote speaker, Uhuru Movement founder and leader Chairman Omali Yeshitela as part of his international tour with his latest book “Vanguard: The Advanced Detachment of the African Revolution.”
Chairman Omali will be signing books as well as presenting the African Internationalist analysis of the crisis of world imperialism today and the revolutionary strategy for liberation led by the African working class.
The program also presents African authors, publishers, poets, drummers, musicians, and grassroots community organizations with free education resources and information.
The president of the African National Women’s Organization, (ANWO), Yejide Orunmila; the Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, (APSC), Penny Hess; percussionist Karen Smith, jazz vocalist Rhenda Fearrington, DJ Teddy Valentine, and many more speakers, authors and performers will be in the program as well.
The Children’s Circle offers children and their families their own space to participate with free face painting, balloon animals, educational games, craft projects, story telling, reading, movement activities and prizes all day.
The Free Education Resource area features tables from local organizations who offer free educational information and resources to our community.
The Uhuru Movement first sent community organizers to Philadelphia in 1986 led by the late revolutionary leader Omowale Kefing, under the slogan “Reinforcements are on the way” to build a political response to the city of Philadelphia’s bombing of the MOVE organization; the murder of 11 African children, women and men; and the deliberate burning and destruction of over 60 houses in an African working class neighborhood in West Philadelphia only 20 blocks from the festival.
No city official was ever sanctioned or imprisoned for this act of U.S. government terrorism, which has been practically erased from history. Thousands of newer and younger residents have never even heard about it.
In 1978, the notorious Philadelphia police department surrounded MOVE’s house and shot over 10,000 rounds into the building and one pig shot another in the back of the head. They framed and imprisoned 9 members of the MOVE organization.
Janet, Janine, and Eddie Africa, three of the surviving members of the MOVE 9, who each served over 40 years in prison and were finally released this year, will be speaking at the Uhuru Book Fair.
Hip hop artist Mike Africa Jr. will perform his original music at the Book Fair. Mike Jr. was born in prison, the son of Mike Sr. and Debbie Africa also members of the framed MOVE 9. Now in his 40s, the first time Mike saw his parents outside of prison was in 2018.
The Uhuru Book Fair is necessary in Philadelphia, a majority African city where only 4.5% of teachers are black men. One out of every 5 black boys has been suspended from school and African and Puerto Rican children are over 70% of the young people who get arrested. And less than 40% of Philadelphia’s population even has a high school diploma.
Uhuru Book Fair coordinator and APSP Northern Regional Representative Nana Yaw Grant stated, “The Uhuru Book Fair gives everyone the opportunity to be part of the solution to the colonial conditions our people face where young black children attend schools that are hostile to our community, in crumbling lead-contaminated buildings with no running water.
“The city closed over 30 black neighborhood schools that are now being gentrified into unaffordable condominiums. For-profit charter schools provide an even worse education than public schools.
“Our children thrive on love and respect, but there is a climate of punishment and regimentation with no interaction, no art or music and very limited recess. Text books and equipment are antiquated or non-existent. About 40% percent of the public school budget goes to so-called “security” the armed police who terrorize our children.
“Black children are blamed and criminalized while it has consistently been white children who shoot up the schools. Our goal is to control our own schools and educate our own children. This festival carries on the legacy of Marcus Garvey and the vision of Chairman Omali Yeshitela to organize our own economic and cultural hubs for African self-determination!”
As Chairman Omali says in Vanguard, “The victory of our Party will come as a consequence of our success in transforming every colonized African community into a conscious active, opponent of colonialism. We will take organization and ideological development to the heart of the African working class communities where the colonial contradictions are concentrated.”
The One Africa! One Nation! Uhuru Book Fair & Flea Market is just one of over 50 dual and contending power institutions the Uhuru Movement leads to transform the lives of our people.
This is how we create the new socialist world where the schools nourish the genius of our children. This is how we grow the dual and contending power economy that works in our interest to feed, clothe and house our people.
This is how we end the deadly dependency imposed on the African community by white power colonialism. This is how we organize to push back gentrification and build programs for education, health and economic development led and controlled by the African working class community.
We encourage everyone to get involved in this important festival! Volunteer opportunities are currently available but time is limited. Help promote the festival to your friends on social media.
More info at 267-875-3532 and uhurubookfair.blogspot.com.